Volunteer Victoria announces the release of the first State of Volunteering Report in Victoria.
State of Volunteering in Victoria (2020) report release
19 October 2020
The report finds that 2.3 million Victorians (42.1%) volunteer. Victorians donated at least 507.7 million hours to the community in 2019.
The report provides the most contemporary overview of the value of volunteering in our state. The report shows the astounding value of volunteering, which is estimated to represent $60 billion of value to Victoria.
The report uncovers the hidden costs of volunteering. We found that in addition to their valuable time, Victorians on average pay $1,700 after reimbursements to volunteer. Victorian volunteers also donate more money to the organisations they volunteer for than non-volunteers.
At the same time, Victorians place a high value on the volunteering work they do. The majority of volunteers report a “productivity premium” from their volunteering, helping them to be more productive in their paid work.
We documented the sharp decline of volunteering in the early period of the pandemic between April and June 2020. During this time volunteering participation was cut in half (50.2 decline) and there was a net decline of volunteering hours by almost two thirds (64.1%). Health concerns were a key barrier to volunteering for volunteers and non-volunteers during this time. The concerns of volunteer-involving organisations in this period started to centre around program viability, volunteer recruitment and retention.
The report is a significant contribution to the research around volunteering. It will benefit leaders of volunteers, volunteer-involving organisations and governments looking to make wise investments.
“As we work through the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic, now is a critical time to focus on revitalising the volunteering sector,” says Scott Miller, Chief Executive of Volunteering Victoria.
“There are challenges to address, but also opportunities to better engage volunteers to the benefit of our communities. This report demonstrates a very strong return on investment, of $3.7 in returns for every $1 spent,” said Miller.
“We look forward to working with the Victorian Government to develop sound strategy which will support the sector and maximise the potential of volunteer-involving organisations.”
The report was developed in partnership with the Victorian Government and the Institute of Project Management. Similar reports have been produced in Tasmania and Western Australia. The report is the first initiative of the Victorian Volunteering Strategy.
The report can be found at www.stateofvolunteering.org.au